God Works in Mysterious Ways

America’s poor leadership, the blatant sin in our once great nation, the drought in the southwest and California, high food prices, pestilence and prepping have all been in the news lately.

There is little doubt that Ahab was one of the worst leaders to ever occupy the throne in Israel. The Bible says, he “did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” (I Kings 16:30). At least until the end of his reign, no leader of Israel had ever exceeded him in evil. He encouraged Baal worship and was often at odds with the true prophets of his day.

He married a Phoenician princess whose name, Jezebel, is synonymous with wickedness. He allowed Jezebel’s religion, Baal worship, to be practiced in Israel and he even built a temple close to the palace to make it easy for Jezebel to worship her false gods. She led many of God’s prophets astray and ordered others to be killed for protesting against her policies (I Kings 18:4). One of her greatest sins was to falsely accuse a man named Naboth so she could have him killed, steal his vineyard and give it to Ahab (I Kings 21:1-25). Jesus compared her to a harlot who encouraged immorality in the church at Thyatira (Rev. 2:20).

Because of sin, God sent the prophet Elijah to visit Ahab one day and say, “As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (I Kings 17:1). Then, God told Elijah to flee to the brook Cherith and drink from it. Elijah did, but while he was there the brook dried up from a lack of rain. God told Elijah to go to a widow at Zarephath who would feed him (Zarephath was located out of the country between Tyre and Sidon). Elijah left Israel, found her and asked her for something to eat and drink. The loss of her husband, and the God-sent drought and famine had hit her hard and she had prepared her last meal for her and her son. Elijah’s request was a great test, but she shared with him and God sustained her, her son and Elijah through the drought and famine (I Kings 17:3-16).

Let’s look at the story about Naaman and then I will get to the point. He was a captain in the Syrian army; a great and honorable man, but he had leprosy. On one of his missions, he defeated some Jews, captured a young Jewish girl and carried her back to Syria to wait on his wife. One day, the Jewish girl said unto her mistress, “Would God my lord were with the prophet (Elisha) that is in Sararia! for he would recover him of his leprosy” (II Kings 5:3). Naaman eventually wound up at Elisha’s house and Elisha sent word out for him to go dip in the Jordan River seven times. Naaman was upset, but he eventually did as he was told and he was healed (II Kings 5:14).

This brings us to the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. He arrived at Nazareth where He grew up, went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, read from the Book of Isaiah and spoke, but His message was rejected (Luke 4:14-22). Then He said, “I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias (Elijah), when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land; But unto none of them was Elias (Elijah) sent, save unto Sarepta (Zarephath), a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus (Elisha) the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian” (Luke 4:25-27).

Because of wicked leadership and sin in Israel God sent a drought and great famine that covered the land for three and one-half years. There were many widows (and probably hungry children) among the chosen people in Israel, but God sent Elijah to feed only one widow who lived in a foreign land. There were many lepers among the chosen people in Israel (and all of them probably prayed to be healed), but the only person God healed was a foreign soldier who had defeated some Israeli troops. So Jesus said God sent a drought and famine on Israel for three and one-half years and He didn’t send anyone to feed or heal any of the hungry and sick widows and lepers. What He said really upset the people in His hometown and they tried to kill Him.

When I suggest that national disasters are increasing or there could be more terrorist attacks and it might be a good idea to do some prepping I sometimes hear “God is in control. He will take care of me.” There is no doubt that God is in control and He cares for us with a love that will never end. But He does not like self-righteousness, being tempted or taken for granted; our blessings are not entitlements; He brings down godless nations (Dan. 2:21); He chastens those He loves (Heb. 12:6); Christians are suffering all over the world and Noah had to build his own boat (Gen. 6:14). My mom loved me, but she spanked me when I needed it.

In my mind, America’s leaders are the worst we have ever had. No president has ever supported some of the wicked things our president supports (abortion, homosexuality, gay marriage, lying, spying on us, betraying our friends, kind words for Allah, etc.). We have great sin in America; drought in the southwest and California; soaring food prices, millions on food stamps (including widows and children), spreading STDs (especially among the gays) and more. It seems to me that America is already paying a price for sin and if the Rapture doesn’t happen soon, the price may increase. His judgment could fall harder and He could decide to feed and heal good people in other countries instead of the United States.

Prophecy Plus Ministries
Daymond & Rachel Duck
daymondduck@bellsouth.net

The Captain’s Conquerors

Excerpted from “Life on the Highest Plane”

Hebrews 2:10 “For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

The believer should always look upon Satan as a defeated foe. He has already been overcome by the Captain of our host. Any power which he exercises today is only a permitted power that God may get greater glory to Himself through the victory gained by His child before a doubting world, and also that the Christian’s life in Christ may be deepened and strengthened. Satan was permitted through his human tools to stone Stephen to death but through Steven’s gloriously triumphant martyrdom God won the crown jewel from Satan’s diadem, Saul of Tarsus. He was allowed through human instruments to put to death the Lord of glory but in doing it he sent himself to the bottomless pit.

That wicked one has no claim whatever upon one who is born of God and he has no power to harm or hurt him. The believer who is hid with Christ in God and who is one with his ascended Lord has the right to claim the perfect protection which that position provides and to reckon himself as a conqueror in Christ Jesus.

1 John 4:4 “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”

Excerpted from “Life on the Highest Plane” by Ruth Paxson 1928

Words of Grace for Strength

We find four significant thoughts in this teaching from Ruth Paxson;

  • Satan is a defeated enemy,
  • the only power that he has is that which our Captain allows him,
  • and regardless of what we may suffer, or how we may be persecuted in this life, no eternal harm can come upon us because ultimately in our Captain we have won the victory.

The Captain of our salvation is Jesus Christ, and through His finished work on the cross of Calvary (His death, burial and resurrection being the proof of His victory), Satan has indeed been defeated. Yet, until our Captain returns in power and great glory to set His feet on the Mount of Olives and set up his earthly Kingdom, Satan remains the ruler of this world.

Therefore, we cannot afford to take Satan for granted even in his defeat, for without Christ we are weak, and the enemy is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). We are not to fear the enemy, for our Lord, our Captain, is greater; but we need be wise to his ways, discerning his intentions. Satan knows our weaknesses and he will exploit them unless we’re standing steadfast in the strength and power of Christ. Seeing Stephen as our example, though he faced a martyr’s death, without fear he proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and saw his Savior standing to greet him into eternal life.

There is one more lesson to be learned from this excerpt.

  • Our Captain, for His divine purpose and in His will, can change any life, even that of the vilest offender, and mold that life into one of victorious service.

Saul of Tarsus, Saul the persecutor, met the Captain in all His blinding Glory on the road to Damascus. And in Acts chapter 9 we are told that the Lord saw him as a “chosen vessel,” yet He also said; (Acts 9:15) “I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.” 

The world is full of sinfulness and wickedness, and Satan will use every device he has available in these Last Days. One only need to read the book of Revelation to see that in the fullness of Biblical Prophecy. Yet, the outcome is known and will come to pass as prophesied. In the meantime, we need to be obedient to our Lord, and serve Him, our victorious Captain, for there is work He would have us do.

Again, with Saul, now Paul, as our example we can say with him: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” Romans 8:16-18.

We would all like to hear a “Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:21) We should all be willing to do the work the Master asks of us and therefore earn His praise; thus to have the opportunity to take the crowns He will place on our heads and cast them in praise and worship at His feet.

We are conquerors, with Christ as our Captain we are soldiers of the cross and nothing can keep us from victory and eternal life. Not even Satan himself.

Romans 8:37-39 “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Finally, as soldiers of the cross we need to remember Paul’s words to Timothy.

2 Timothy 3:12-14. “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them.”

Oh Captain, my Captain, my Lord and Savior be,

the Captain of my salvation, in Your death at Calvary,

Your resurrection conquered sin, now you sit at God’s right hand,

so life’s battle I can surely win, if in You I’ll therefore stand!            kdtw 1992